The Love Shack’s Cornetta Settles With Accused Shoplifter

NORCROSS, Ga. — Adult entrepreneur John Cornetta, owner of The Love Shack retail store, has settled a libel lawsuit with a man he accused of repeatedly shoplifting from the store.

The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

The lead up to the lawsuit began in July 2006, when Cornetta’s Xcitement magazine ran a series of ads depicting The Love Shack patron Raymond Law captured on security cam allegedly distracting store employees while another man removed adult DVDs from their cases and hid them in his jacket.

The ad appeared in three issues of Xcitement with the captions “Adult Video Store Thieves” and “Wanted for Questioning.”

Law demanded a retraction, but one was never issued, so he filed suit against Cornetta Enterprises for three counts of libel, one count for each publication of the ad. The suit had been scheduled to go to trial last month, but was postponed while a settlement was being worked out.

Law was never arrested for shoplifting, but Cornetta told XBIZ that he still believes Law is guilty of the crime and had been convicted previously for shoplifting in 2004.

“The reason I or Xcitement did not issue a retraction was for a few reasons,” Cornetta said. “Law was as guilty as they come and I knew it, and I also knew that at the time the only reason that the Gwinnett County police did not arrest him after watching all of the video evidence we had was because at that time I wasn’t too popular in Gwinnett County, which I had fought with and beaten many times on 1st Amendment issues. Had they arrested him, it would have been over, I could not have been sued.”

Cornetta said that part of the original settlement included a demand for a retraction and public apology, but it was dropped quickly after he adamantly refused.

“That was the one thing I would not give them,” Cornetta said. “No way! I said you guys can take my money, but you’re not taking my pride and sense of what’s right; it’s just not for sale.”